Although veterans come from different branches of the United States military, they are united in their service under the American flag.
Three veterans were inducted into the Hillsdale County Veterans Hall of Fame in a ceremony last Thursday, as the group gathered to honor veterans and special guests. Assistant Professor of Management at Hillsdale College, Peter Jennings, was one of the three inducted into the hall of fame.
“I’m humbled and honored,” Jennings said. “It’s nice that they do this.”
Jennings served as a Major in the United States Marine Corps; a career of nearly 20 years including service in three major conflicts. Jeffrey Mackie and Russell McLogan were also inducted alongside Jennings. Mackie served for 29 years in the U.S. Army and was part of five major conflicts throughout his career, and he attained the rank of Master Sergeant. Private First Class McLogan served in the U.S. Army during World War II. McLogan passed away earlier this year, and his son received his certificate on his behalf.
Michigan’s 58th district state representative Eric Leutheuser was in attendance.
“Knowing and honoring the past is the foundation of what we learn,” Leutheuser said. “Recognizing these everyday heroes is the least we can do.”
Gene Denning was this year’s guest of honor and The Hillsdale Exchange club was the recipient of the Service Organization of the Year Award.
Jeffery Rogers is the treasurer of the Hillsdale County Veterans Hall of Fame, and the Associate Dean of Men at Hillsdale College. Rogers delivered the opening remarks of the ceremony where he recited Johnny Cash’s “Ragged old flag.”
“We might be from different branches,” Rogers said. “But our common bond is the symbol of the American flag.”
Major General Robert Smith of the U.S. Army was the ceremony guest speaker. Smith spoke of the 50 year anniversary of the Tet Offensive and his personal experience in Vietnam.
“We counted down the days until we got to go home,” Smith said.
He was the only one of nine men in his group to return home alive. Smith paid tribute those in Vietnam and all veterans.
“Remember and honor our vets,” Smith said. “Never let their actions be forgotten.”
Smith also emphasised the importance of leaders today to follow in the footsteps of our veterans.
“We need more men and women who aren’t afraid to take risks or go against popular opinion, we need leaders who aren’t afraid to admit when they’re wrong.” Smith said. “The world needs leaders who embody these types of leadership.”
The Hillsdale County Veterans Hall of Fame honors veterans every year in honor of Veterans Day.
“This Veterans day think about love,” Jennings said. “Think about what our veterans did out of love.”